A Ray Too Far

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

It would seem that the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, has been done in by a stingray. Those who argue that Westerners lack bravery need look no further. I must admit that I never quite saw the point of his show and his antics. Yes, if you handle these incredibly dangerous animals in just the right way, you will probably live. Still, it's all about the odds. The odds are just slightly against you each time you play this game. Repeat that for long enough and, odds are, there will come a time when you'll bite the dust. Repeated success in beating the odds tends to make you believe you always will as the Bayesian system inside your head starts to assess things. And then you become complacent, and you forget to be careful. And for what purpose? To show the world that it's easy?, that everybody should go out and play with poisonous animals? I'm reminded of Voltaire's dictum: once is philosophy, twice is perversion.

Still I believe he lived a good life in his crazy way and somehow made this a better world. Rest in peace Steve.


terrye said...

At least he died with his boots on, if you know what I mean.

Knucklehead said...

Germain Greer, in the Grauniad, (ht: Tim Blair) brings us an idiotic Revenge of Gaia screed.

The animal world has finally taken its revenge on Irwin...

I wasn't a fan of his show. Too "over the top" for my tastes. It also struck me that the guy was just begging to get nailed by some deadly critter.

Whatever Irwin's qualities or flaws, however, Greer's column is a disgusting exercise. The man wasn't Al Zarqawi.

chuck said...

My dad was stationed in northern Australia for part of WWII and used to swim out to the ships anchored offshore and enjoy a good meal. One night a stingray got him in the leg and he nearly didn't make it back.

KG said...

"Whatever Irwin's qualities or flaws, however, Greer's column is a disgusting exercise. The man wasn't Al Zarqawi."
Yeah, interesting isn't it, that the feminist can open her mouth to condemn a guy for playing with animals, yet is conspicuously silent on the subject of women being stoned to death and young girls being hanged.
Unspeakable, hypocritical and cowardly bitch.

Syl said...

Irwin wasn't about taking chances. He knew what he was doing and was very knowledgable about the creatures he showed and messed with.

Irwin was not someone who was daring nature, not in the slightest. Nor was he advocating that any ol' bloke attempt the things he did.

Deaths from stingray are very very rare. This one got Irwin directly in the heart. He could have taken a sting elsewhere and survived painfully yet easily.

Skookumchuk said...


He knew what he was doing and was very knowledgable...

Unlike me in Madagascar, where I had a conversation with a local guy that went something like this:

Local guy: Watch out for the crocodile.

Me, standing in tall grass, along a riverbank, oblivious: Where? I don't see a crocodile.

Local guy, pointing downward at my feet: Right there.

And they say you aren't supposed to run...

loner said...

During Odysseus's visit to the underworld, the prophet Tiresias spoke of the hero's death. He said that his death would come from the sea when he was old and living in prosperity. According to some legends, Odysseus died at the hands of Telegonus, the son of Odysseus and the enchantress Circe. Urged by Circe, Telegonus sailed the seas looking for his father. When he arrived in Ithaca, Odysseus mistook Telegonus and his men for pirates and fighting broke out. During the battle, Telegonus accidentally killed Odysseus with a spear tipped with the spine from a stingray's tail, thus bringing death from the sea.

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart

Rest In Peace, Steve Irwin.